Republican National Convention: Whitest in Forty Years


Last month, the wingnuts freaked when Howard Dean called the GOP "the white party." But chances are if you saw the convention last night, you didn't see much color.

Organizers conceived of this convention as a means to inspire, but some African American Republicans have found the Xcel Energy Center depressing this week. Everywhere they look, they see evidence of what they consider one of their party's biggest shortcomings.


As the country rapidly diversifies, Republicans are presenting a convention that is almost entirely white.


Only 36 of the 2,380 delegates seated on the convention floor are black, the lowest number since the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies began tracking diversity at political conventions 40 years ago. Each night, the overwhelmingly white audience watches a series of white politicians step to the lectern -- a visual reminder that no black Republican has served as a governor, U.S. senator or U.S. House member in the past six years.


"It's hard to look around and not get frustrated," said Michael S. Steele, a black Republican and former lieutenant governor of Maryland. "You almost have to think, 'Wait. How did it come to this?' "

How'd it come to this, Mike?

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